What The Heck Is Up With DC And This Weird Conspiracy Against Women?
By Alex Cranz
Dear DC Comics,
I’m worried about you.
Remember the laughs we had in the early aughts? I’d buy nearly ever comic you released via DC and Vertigo and you’d laugh and take my money and say you so funny. They were good times DC. Gotham Central, Birds of Prey, Manhunter (twice!), Y: The Last Man and Fables. Those will forever be some of my jams and maybe they were just critical darlings to you, but that’s okay because we also had all those Crises and the various All-Star lines and that one weird Bill Willingham issue of Batman where they turned his doctor in Stephanie Brown’s murderer because why not.
I should have seen it then. It was a sign of things to come. Maybe I could have stopped it. Okay, I couldn’t have stopped it. I’m a reader and you’re a major comic book publisher and holder of some of the most valuable and enduring brands in the entertainment industry.
But since then there’s been a steady decline and these last few years have left me flabbergasted. It’s like we hardly know each other any more! Here I am eager to buy your comics on the iPad, which I’m told is much more profitable than paying printing and shipping fees, and there you are. Doing your thing.
First, I’ll admit, it was your decision to bump the megapowerful Oracle back down to Batgirl that gave me pause. You polished away all her edges and took away some of her most fascinating qualities, but you put Gail Simone on the case and she managed to pull a feat. She turned Batgirl’s tale into one of a person overcoming and living with trauma of a psychological nature. It wasn’t the character I miss, but it was compelling none the less.
But then, then Simone had to be your only female creator. My eyebrow rose. When Kyrax asked you about the decision your editorial and creative leaders laughed and mumbled something about “get in the industry if you don’t like it.” My eyebrow leapt off my face and took a stunning swan dive into a pile of acid. It was forever destroyed in its bid to rationalize what your leaders said and turn it into something beyond jerkish condescension.
Somehow my capacity for self-delusion was revealed to be nearly endless and I stuck with you, inexplicably, though Starfire-gate and Baby Slaving Misandrist Murderous Amazons-gate and the announced decision to focus only on young white male customers.
Because despite all the latent misogyny you were still doing some things really right. You were still releasing some extraordinary comics. Batwoman, Batgirl, Action Comics and Fairest have all been nothing short of extraordinary and at least three of them have sold really really well.
But that was that aforementioned capacity for self-delusion talking. DC, my poor precious comic publisher, you’ve been on a downward spiral and I don’t see you pulling yourself out of it anytime soon. I think we can both agree things were pretty heinous there for a while.
And now, having Karen Berger step down as Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Vertigo Comics and then, removing Gail Simone from her incredibly popular Batgirl run the very next day and notifying her of the change/firing/adjustment via email? And having both changes effective March 2013?
Well DC it looks bad for you.
Like, maybe you’re trying to get rid of every woman of note on your staff.
What, pray tell, is happening March 2013?
Is the great and powerful Misogynist coming down aboard his phallus shaped rocket to cast judgment on all those who hire women?
Did you suddenly decide to take Leviticus literally and can no longer associate with women because they might be on their periods?
Did you find Berger and Simone hovering over a giant map of your offices and quietly smoking Virginian Slims and sipping cosmos and plotting your demise?
Did you let them go to drum up controversy so everyone will read the comics that follow their departure if only to complain? (Mine’s preordered!)
Or maybe, hopefully, this is all a secret plot to get us as horrified as possible before you announce a super female friendly DC imprint geared towards all those readers you said didn’t matter?
Whatever the case HIRE SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS PR. For the love of Superman, Batman and Aquaman (the new trinity of best superheroes according to your Facebook page) get someone in there that can make you maybe not look like a bunch of misogynists incapable of empathy.
Your Deeply Concerned Boo Bear